U3A News from around Wales

Short Story Competition

A reminder that the closing date is August 31st. Stories received after that date will not be accepted.

Castles Shared Learning Project

If your U3A has a craft/sewing/quilting/art group or an individual person interested in contributing to the Castles SLP wall hanging there is still a chance to become involved. Groups and members are invited to produce a "picture" of a castle in their area which can then be joined with others to create a quilt, or perhaps we should call it a wall hanging as it would be intended to be hung up, not placed on a bed. If you have members that may be interested in taking part please contact Ruth the organiser directly at and Ruth will be happy to discuss it further.

For full details of the Project visit the Castles Shared Learning Project page.

U3A Awareness Event in Llanelli

Llanelli U3A Awareness Event 1 Llanelli U3A Awareness Event 2 Llanelli U3A Awareness Event 3 Report from Sandra Ivinson
We applied to Central Office for a grant to enable us to host an Awareness Event for Llanelli U3A. We were then able to place an advertisement in our local paper, the Llanelli Star. About 70 people attended our ‘Coffee and Scones’ event and eleven new members joined.
Our membership has increased by a third over the past six months and our number of interest groups has increased from 15 to 25, as new members have introduced new activities.
One of our recent new groups is French Boules. If any other U3As play Boules, maybe we can arrange an annual competition. We already have an annual indoor Bowls Competition against Pembrokeshire U3A. We are very grateful to Central Office for their continued support.

Welsh National Eisteddfod - Llanrwst, Conwy - Saturday 3rd to Saturday 10th August

Volunteers, including fluent Welsh speakers and learners, from the North Wales U3A Network will be in attendance at the U3A Stand (No. 512) throughout the event, to raise the profile of the organisation nationally and locally.
Take a look at the website for more details of the Eisteddfod which is fully accessible by bus and train and parking is available.
If you’re visiting the event, please call in at the stand to say ‘hello’.

2019/20 U3A Wales Photography Competition

U3A Wales Region are launching a new photography competition. The competition is open to any U3A member, from a U3A in Wales. If a member wishes to enter the competition their U3A must register. The competition will be run in three heats. 1. Local U3A level, 2. Network level, 3. Regional level.

The theme for the 2019/20 competition is ‘The Castles of Wales’ and images may be in colour or monochrome. Closing date for entries is April 30th 2020
Documents available to download:

Introducing the U3A Constructor's Challenge 2019

Constructors Challenge 2019 Expressions of interest are invited from any electronics constructors in the U3A who are interested in robotics projects. To register your interest, please contact Barry James at
stating the U3A to which you belong, any experience you have with robotics and or coding, and whether you’d actually like to participate in the challenge.

More details are available in the following documents which are available to download:

Gilwern U3A Celebrates 100th Member

Gilwern U3A, launched in 2016, has just signed up its 100th member. You can read about what they have achieved by downloading the Gilwern press release.

Short Story Competition 2019

Details of this year's annual Short Story Competition have been announced. Entries must be received by the 31st August 2019.

The following files are available to download:

Porthcawl U3A supporting local community

Porthcawl U3A supporting local Lifeboat Porthcawl U3A's Writing groups raised £1,116 from sales of their book 'A Write Crew'. Pictured are the U3A’s Jo Brooks & Malcolm Cowper presenting a cheque to the Porthcawl Lifeboat crew.

‘A Write Crew’ is a collection of 24 stories and poems, some funny, some poignant, all entertaining - and written by Porthcawl U3A members of the Writing for Pleasure group. The book was sold with a cover price of £4, all profits from sales going to the local Lifeboat station at Porthcawl.

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U3A 2018 Short Story Competition

Wales Trustee Chris Winner is delighted to announce the winners of the 2018 Wales U3A Short Story competition.

Llongyfarchiadau! Congratulations to

  • Jaci Gruffydd of Swansea U3A the winner of the Welsh learner category, with her story - 'Ffonio Adref'
  • Wendy Williams from Caerphilly U3A the winner in the English category with her story - 'Foxglove'

You can download copies of the winning stories:

Note: there are only two prize winners this year as there weren’t any entries in the Welsh as a first language category.

Back to School for Porthcawl U3A

Report by Brian Thomas, Porthcawl U3A

Porthcawl U3A support their local school In our highly competitive society, attending a first formal interview can be a nerve racking experience, especially as a teenager. The more practice young people get in acquiring and then fine-tuning those important self-presentation skills the more success is likely to come their way.

To inject a touch of realism to the process of interview preparation, staff at Porthcawl Comprehensive again called upon members of Porthcawl U3A for assistance.

Ever ready to answer a call to support their community, U3A members duly conducted mock interviews with Year 12 students, with each student allocated a half hour slot to be grilled by two members - many of whom are former teachers and learning professionals.

The whole process was made to be as realistic as possible and was followed by the delivery of feedback directly to the student - helpful hints and practical advice.

Headteacher Andrew Slade was delighted with the outcome:
"This was an important opportunity to develop and enhance interview skills for our students, many of whom are about to compete for places at some of the best universities in the country" said Mr Slade. "The feedback given by members of Porthcawl U3A was really useful in allowing our students to critically reflect and refine their crucial self-presentation skills".

Chepstow win U3A Welsh National Table Tennis Championship

Report by Pat Smith, Cowbridge U3A (with additional information)

On the 26th June 2018, 35 teams competed in the second annual Tournament. This year the competition was open to U3A members from across the border. There were teams from Bridgend, Cowbridge,Chepstow, Malvern, Pembrokeshire, Porthmadog (which again sent 7 teams in total), Ludlow, Porthcawl and Ledbury. Cowbridge U3A were represented by five mixed double teams from the Table Tennis Group. The teams representing Cowbridge comprised of Leslie Avery & Mike Parsons, Colin Campbell & Jackie Hawkes, Doug Fraser & Pat Copley, Jackie Campbell & Elaine Bevan and Les Hall & Pat Smith.

The morning Session commenced at 10:00am where each team played in a Group of 7 teams on a round-robin basis. The competition went on until lunchtime then there was a well deserved break for lunch and the afternoon sessions commenced at 2:45pm again each team competing in 7 different bands.

The overall winner of the Tournament was the team of Sue Case and Lyndon Oliver from Chepstow U3A, but also coming away with trophies were two teams from Cowbridge U3A. Colin Campbell and Jackie Hawkes were worthy winners of Band 6 and Les Hall and Pat Smith were winners of the Band 4 Group.

It was a very enjoyable day with a lot of camaraderie during the games and new friendships being formed and it was nice to see supporters encouraging their teams

Congratulations went to Philip Avery of Table Tennis Wales, the competition organiser, for making sure the Tournament was run smoothly throughout the day.

Wales Coastline and Border Celebration

Llanddwyn looking across to Snowdonia Download the latest updates on the project (see below) for lot of ideas for how your U3A can get involved.

If you would be interested in helping develop or contribute to the Coastline and Border Celebration during 2018 please contact (a Flintshire U3A member).

For more details see the Wales Coastline and Border Celebration page.

Shared Learning Projects

Sue Shannon-Jones has taken on the role of Shared Learning Project Coordinator for South Wales. If you are currently involved in a Shared Learning Project, or have an idea for one, please let her know. Click on Shared Learning Project if you want to set up a Shared Learning Project or you want to contact her or just want further information.